Hillary Clinton's Popular Vote Lead Keeps Growing As Faith In The Electoral College Continues To Wane
Election Day was weeks ago, but Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote over President-elect Donald Trump continues to increase as ballots are counted. According to new vote totals, Clinton is ahead of Trump, who won the Electoral Vote by a large margin — more than 2.3 million votes. Clinton has 48.1 percent of the vote as of now, compared to Trump's 46.4 percent. Independent party challengers Libertarian Gary Johnson, who currently has 3.3 percent of the vote, and Jill Stein of the Green Party, who has 1.1 percent of the vote.
Even so, Trump's Electoral College lead edges out all of his competitors; he has 306 electoral votes, while Clinton has 232. But Stein, along with cooperation from Clinton's campaign, is currently involved in an effort to recount votes in several swing states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Clinton would have to win all three states in the recount to defeat Trump and reverse the election results. Though Trump's leads in the three states is not very large, the possibility of Clinton winning all three of them is quite low. Still, a reversal of presidential election results is not impossible, though it would be unprecedented in the United States.
Interestingly enough, Trump claimed via Twitter to have won the popular vote as well as the electoral vote, and that "millions of people" voted illegally in the election. Neither claim has actually been proven; in fact, evidence to the contrary concerning voter fraud has been documented in a comprehensive investigative study by a Loyola Law School professor, Justin Levitt, who found only 31 credible incidents of voter fraud out of a billion ballots cast, the Washington Post reported.
In light of the winner of the popular vote losing the Electoral College vote in two of the last five presidential elections, the electoral system itself has come under increased scrutiny. A 2013 Gallup poll found that more than six out of ten Americans would abolish the Electoral College, given the choice. Why? Well, for one there is a bias towards small states, or less densely populated areas. (On the other hand, some say the Electoral College protects states' rights.)
A Wyoming resident's vote, for example, has 3.6 times the weight of a California resident's vote, according to the New York Times. Voters in partisan states, like New York for Democrats, are less incentivized to vote, since their vote will likely not change the outcome of the state's electoral vote. And of course, the popular vote winner differing from the election winner is also a point of contention. Either way, the fact remains that Clinton is millions ahead of Trump in terms of the popular vote. And in the next couple of weeks as more votes are counted, it's possible that lead could grow.